The Fiji Times » Trina shares sporting journey

There was a time when football was the domain of men and boys. Girls and women were relegated to “girly” sports like netball. However, the recent rapid rise of Fiji rugby teams changed everything.

And on the soccer field, girls like Trina Davis shattered all barriers and societal “norms” for the kind of sports women should participate in.

At the age of 21 she has managed to make a name for herself in Fiji and the region.

Originally from Marysville, Washington, in the United States with maternal ties to Lautoka, Trina realized she wanted to play sports when she was seven years old.

“I saw my sister play and thought it looked really fun, and also because I loved the halftime snacks,” she said.

“By the time I was 12 I knew there was nothing else I would want to do when I grew up. I never wanted to stop playing football, so I made it my mission.”

Luckily, she said she had her parents’ full support growing up.

“My parents have always been supportive of me and what I have done. They went above and beyond to give me everything I needed to get me to where I am today.

“Even when I hit rock bottom they were always there to lift me up and did everything they could to get me back on my feet and playing again. My mother often reminded me to never stop doing what I want and to go far and keep going.”

Last year, she finally joined her new club – Puerto Rico Sol FC – a Puerto Rican football club based in Mayaguez.

The club is a member of the Puerto Rico League, the highest level of football in the country. She said there have been a number of challenges she’s had to face to get where she is in life.

“I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus before the OFC Cup in 2018 and played the whole tournament injured.

“I have no regrets because we made history and I have some of the best memories of my life.

“After the operation it was a challenge for me because I wasn’t allowed to play for two years. I had to learn to walk again, listen to football and watch games, and it was hard because I always want to be out there.” The young girl said every athlete has faced such challenges at some point in their life.

“For any athlete going through surgery or injury it affects your mental health, but knowing that you will be stronger and never giving up keeps me going.

“I never want to stop playing football and I want to keep changing. Life is tough, but you have to know that God gives his toughest fights to his strongest soldiers, so I carry on.”

She said women’s sport has come a long way in the Pacific, especially in the last few years.

“Fiji made history a couple of times and Papua New Guinea made it to the second round of World Cup qualifiers, but I think more commitment and money needs to be put into the women’s programs and facilities to provide equal opportunities if we are compared to other countries.

“I think women’s sport has also been taken more seriously in recent years, with more broadcast and media channels for the athletes. But I believe more can be done to make us athletes more successful.”

She said women in sport should be given the same recognition as men.

“I think as more people come out to support women’s sport, they will realize that we are great athletes too. I honestly love seeing women’s sports versus men’s sports, there’s something about our drive and passion that really comes out when we play.”

Trina continues to inspire and encourage women and girls that women can play male dominated sports.

“To all the young women out there who are thinking of exercising, just know that you are making a difference. Do what you love no matter what anyone tells you, fight for what you want and never give up.

“Have fun and enjoy these moments, my best days growing up were club training and tournaments with my team, these are the memories that will stay with me forever. There will be tough times, but remember it won’t last forever – it makes you stronger.

Being a woman in sport is a blessing, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Dream big and don’t stop until you have what you want.”

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